What Is a Living Wage? – Minimum Income for Basic Needs Above Poverty

Early in his term, President Joe Biden announced his support for an idea lawmakers on the left had been pushing for years: increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Proponents assert the current hourly rate of $7.25 is simply too little to maintain a decent standard of living. To stress this point, several politicians and other public figures took part in the Live the Wage Challenge in 2014, living on minimum wage for one week to show how difficult it is.

Many state and local governments have already passed their own minimum wage increases. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports that more than half of all states in the United States have minimum wages above the federal minimum, and 45 cities and towns have adopted wages higher than the minimum level for their state. But lawmakers in other states have pushed back, claiming higher minimum wage laws will hurt business owners and limit job growth. According to the EPI, 26 states have already passed “preemption laws” to bar municipalities from raising their local minimum wage levels above the state level.

At the heart of this debate is the question of what really amounts to a living wage. In the words of the Fight for $15 campaign, the question is how much America’s workers need to “feed our families, pay our bills, or even keep a roof over our heads.” And as it turns out, that’s not at all a simple question to answer.

Defining Poverty

In announcing his support for the minimum wage hike, Biden declared, “If you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.” However, according to FactCheck.org, this isn’t quite true. Even the current federal minimum wage is technically enough to keep a full-time worker with no dependents over the federal poverty line.

But it’s not clear how much that statistic matters. For one thing, many low-wage workers do have dependents, and the cost of supporting them pushes them below the poverty level. That explains why a 2021 Congressional Budget Office report found that the proposed wage hike would lift roughly 900,000 Americans out of poverty by 2025.

Yet even this number may be an understatement. There are many problems with how the government defines poverty — so many that even the government itself doesn’t always rely on it. In other words, someone who falls above the government’s official poverty line isn’t necessarily making a living wage.

Minimum Wage & the Poverty Guideline

Technically, the federal government has more than one way of defining poverty. When people talk about the “poverty line,” they’re usually referring to the poverty guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There are actually three separate guidelines: one for the contiguous U.S. and higher ones for both Alaska and Hawaii, where the cost of living is higher.

As of 2021, the poverty guideline for most of the country is $12,880 for a single person. A person earning $7.25 per hour working 40 hours per week would bring home $15,080 per year before taxes — assuming they took no vacation or sick days. Therefore, this single person would indeed be making enough to be slightly above the poverty guideline in most states.

However, the picture changes for people raising children on minimum wage. According to the National Employment Law Project, roughly 1 in 4 workers with minimum-wage jobs have kids to support. The poverty guideline for a family of three is $21,960, so a single parent trying to raise two kids on that same $15,080 per year would be well below it.

Problems With the Poverty Guideline

Even if you assume anyone whose income falls below the poverty guideline is “poor,” and anyone above it is getting along just fine, not all minimum-wage workers are over the line. However, it’s not clear whether that’s even a reasonable way to define poverty. The poverty guidelines are based on the official poverty threshold from the Census Bureau, and the formula used to calculate this threshold is pretty archaic.

The poverty threshold was first developed in the mid-1960s by Mollie Orshansky, a Social Security Administration worker. At the time, the government didn’t have the accurate figures it has today to show how much the average household spends on the things they need to live, such as food, housing, and health care. The only expense Orshansky could calculate with any accuracy was food costs, based on food plans developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Orshansky found a 1955 USDA survey that showed the average American family spent one-third of its after-tax income on food. Based on that, she estimated the smallest amount a family could live on would be three times the amount they needed to feed themselves on the most frugal diet possible. Today, the Census Bureau continues to calculate the poverty threshold by taking the cost Orshansky worked out for a “minimum food diet” in 1963, adjusting for inflation, and then multiplying it by three.

The problem is that a lot has changed since 1955. A 2019 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average American family now spends less than 10% of its pretax income on food. Its biggest expense is housing, which accounts for 25% of income. Transportation and health care also take up a sizable chunk of the budget.

The Census Bureau admits that the poverty threshold isn’t the best measure of whether someone’s income is enough to meet their needs. It stresses the threshold is only “a statistical yardstick,” not “a complete description of what people and families need to live.” So even according to the government, being over the “line of poverty” is no guarantee someone actually has enough money to cover their basic needs, let alone extras like a movie or haircut. That’s the point politicians were trying to highlight through the Live the Wage challenge when they tried — and for the most part failed — to survive on minimum wage for a week.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure

In 2011, the Census Bureau designed a new way of calculating how many Americans live in poverty, known as the supplemental poverty measure (SPM). It’s a lot harder to calculate than the official poverty threshold, but it offers a clearer picture of how much someone really needs to get by.

Both the official poverty threshold and the SPM define people as poor if “the resources they share with others in the household are not enough to meet basic needs.” However, the SPM differs in several ways from the official measure:

  • It Counts More People per Household. For purposes of resource sharing, the current poverty measure assumes a “household” is all the people who live under the same roof and are related by birth, marriage, or adoption. The SPM uses a broader definition: It counts foster children, unmarried partners and their children, and any other children who live with the family. This definition recognizes that two adults bringing up five children have just as many mouths to feed, even if they aren’t all related to each other.
  • It Calculates People’s Needs More Precisely. The current poverty threshold is based on food expenses alone. It takes the cost of a basic food budget, as calculated in 1963, and adjusts for inflation. Instead, the SPM looks at what people actually spend today on basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, and utilities. That gives a much more accurate picture of a household’s budget than the current model.
  • It Accounts for Location. The current poverty threshold assumes all people need the same amount to survive, no matter where in the country they live. However, surveys such as the annual Consumer Expenditure Survey from the BLS and the Census Bureau’s own American Housing Survey show that isn’t true. Housing costs, which are the biggest expense for many people, vary widely from one city to another. The SPM accounts for that by factoring in rent or mortgage costs for different parts of the country.
  • It Counts Benefits as Income. According to the current poverty measure, resources include only actual cash coming into the house: wages, pensions and other retirement funds, Social Security benefits, interest, and dividends. However, many low-income earners also receive various types of financial assistance. For instance, they may receive subsidized housing, food aid such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or free school lunches, and home heating aid. The SPM counts all these benefits as resources because they help meet the household’s basic needs.
  • It Deducts Certain Expenses. The current poverty measure looks only at total cash income — the amount listed under “total income” on a tax return. However, most people’s actual take-home pay is lower than their total income. Their employer takes a certain amount out for taxes, and there may also be health premiums that come out of pretax pay. Additionally, many people have unavoidable costs — work expenses, child support, or child care costs — that don’t count as taxable income on tax returns. Since these expenses are unavoidable, the SPM doesn’t count the money spent on them as income.

Since 2011, the Census Bureau has released two separate reports every year measuring poverty in America. It bases one report on the official current poverty threshold, while the other uses the SPM. In 2019, the official poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child family was $25,926. According to the bureau’s first report, 10.5% of the population (34 million people) were below that threshold, thus living in poverty. For context, if all those people constituted an independent state, it would be the second-most populous state in the U.S., between California and Texas, according to 2020 data from the Census Bureau.

The second report for the same year paints a more varied picture. It sets the SPM for the entire country at $29,234 for homeowners with a mortgage and $28,881 for renters. However, this figure differs widely from one part of the country to another. In 16 states and the District of Columbia, the SPM was higher than the official poverty threshold. In 25 states, it was lower, and in nine states, it was more or less the same.

Overall, the second report found slightly more people living in poverty than the first one — 11.7% of all Americans, or around 38 million people (almost equal to the population of California). The difference was especially great for people over 65. According to the official poverty measure, less than 9% of older Americans (4.9 million) live in poverty, but the SPM puts the figure at 12.8% (nearly 7 million).


Defining the Cost of Living

The SPM is more useful than the official poverty guideline as an indicator of how much income people need to barely make ends meet. However, many living wage advocates argue that it still doesn’t reflect a family’s true needs.

A real living wage, they say, should do more than allow people to scrape by. It should enable them to support themselves decently without having to rely on additional help from the government. A worker making a true living wage shouldn’t have to worry every day whether some unexpected expense is going to push them over the edge into poverty.

Various economists and policymakers have tried to analyze the average household budget and develop a guideline for this sort of living wage. Currently, there are two primary alternatives for calculating a living wage, each with its own method for defining basic needs and the income needed to meet them. Their estimates differ significantly, but they’re both considerably higher than either the poverty guideline or the SPM.

The EPI Budget Calculator

In 2015, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) developed a tool for calculating a living wage. Its budget calculator shows how much money a household needs for a “secure yet modest living standard.” That’s a level of income at which people not only survive but can live in safe, decent conditions.

Like the SPM, the EPI family budget calculator considers food, clothing, and housing costs. However, it also factors in costs the SPM doesn’t, including transportation, health care, child care, and taxes. It also allows a modest amount for extras like phone service, cleaning supplies, personal care items, books, and school supplies. It does not include any money for emergency or retirement savings.

The EPI calculator is adjustable, so you can use it to estimate expenses for households with up to two adults and four children. It uses housing and other expenses for different parts of the country (last updated in 2017) to show how much the cost of living varies by region.

According to the EPI’s budget map, there are some counties in the U.S. where a two-parent, two-child family needs less than $5,000 per month to live modestly and others where it requires more than $9,000 per month. That’s a significant difference, but even the low end of this scale is close to $60,000 per year — more than double both the Census Bureau’s official poverty threshold and the SPM for a family of this size.

The MIT Living Wage Calculator

Another tool for calculating the living wage rate is the living wage calculator developed by Amy Glasmeier, an economic geography and regional planning professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It estimates the amount a household needs “to achieve financial independence while maintaining housing and food security.”

Like the EPI calculator, it uses tax and spending data from different parts of the country to estimate the expenses for working families and individuals. It factors in all the basic expenses in a typical household budget, including food, housing, transportation, child care, health insurance, clothing, and personal care. It also accounts for income and payroll taxes.

The MIT calculator is somewhat more flexible than the EPI’s. It can estimate expenses for households with one or two working adults and up to three children. You can also add a second, nonworking adult who provides full-time child care. That increases the number of people living on a single worker’s income but eliminates child care as an expense.

However, MIT living wage calculator’s primary advantage is that in addition to estimating monthly or yearly expenditures, it also shows the hourly wage a worker would need to earn to meet them. For comparison, it also lists the “poverty wage” for a household of a given size — that is, the wage needed to maintain it at the HHS poverty line — and the actual minimum wage in the city or state.

According to MIT, the average living wage at the end of 2019 for a family of two working adults and two children was $21.54 per hour, or $89,606 per year, before taxes. However, it varies widely across different parts of the country — from as low as $76,222 in the McAllen, Texas, region to $131,266 near San Jose, California. Once again, even the lowest estimate from MIT’s calculator is much higher than the official poverty threshold for a family of four — nearly three times as high.


Location, Location, Location

The EPI and MIT calculators offer somewhat different estimates of what constitutes a living wage in America. However, there’s much more variation within each calculator across different parts of the country.

This table shows how each tool estimates the annual cost of living for a family with two working parents and two children in five different areas, including urban, rural, and suburban makeups. For comparison, it also includes the SPM’s estimates of a poverty wage for these same areas. The SPM and MIT costs are based on data from 2019. The EPI figure uses data from 2017. The official 2019 poverty line in the U.S. based on the same family size was $25,750.

SPM (Poverty Line) EPI (Living Wage) MIT (Living Wage)
Baird, Texas

(Callahan County)

$26,028 for homeowners with a mortgage

$22,713 for homeowners with no mortgage

$25,752 for renters

(Figures are for “Texas Nonmetro.”)

$67,370 $77,492 ($18.63 per hour)
Aurora, Illinois

(DuPage County)

$30,429 for homeowners with a mortgage

$25,825 for homeowners with no mortgage

$30,047 for renters

(Figures are for “Chicago-Naperville-Elgin.”)

$95,602 $99,551 ($23.93 per hour)
Los Angeles, California $37,468 for homeowners with a mortgage

$30,803 for homeowners with no mortgage

$36,918 for renters

$92,295 $112,361 ($27.01 per hour)
New York City, New York $35,530 for homeowners with a mortgage

$29,432 for homeowners with no mortgage

$35,026 for renters

(Figures are for “New York-Newark-Jersey City.”)

$124,129 $112,325 ($27 per hour)

(Figures are for “New York-Newark-Jersey City”)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $26,888 for homeowners with a mortgage

$23,321 for homeowners with no mortgage

$26,591 for renters

$81,552 $84,538 ($20.32 per hour)

These figures reveal a few patterns. For one, the cost of living is generally higher in urban areas than in rural or suburban ones. It’s also higher in big cities than in small ones and higher on the coasts than in more central parts of the country. All these factors put together mean that a living wage in large coastal cities, such as Los Angeles and New York, is much, much higher than in small inland towns.

The chart also shows the official poverty standard is lower than it should be. Even in rural Baird, Texas, the 2019 SPM finds that a family of four with a mortgage needs a little more than $26,000 after taxes to get by, yet the official poverty measure for 2019 is less than $26,000 before taxes. It’s clearly not enough to meet a family’s needs, even in the cheapest parts of the country, and it’s nowhere near enough in expensive coastal cities.


Why a Living Wage Is Higher Than Many People Think

If you live in New York City, you’re probably nodding your head in recognition right now. But if you live in an area with a lower cost of living, it may come as a shock to see that there are places where a family could need over $90,000 per year to pay all its bills. Perhaps you even suspect the data must be wrong somehow.

But there’s no lack of evidence these numbers are accurate. For example, a 2017 survey by CareerBuilder found that across the country, 78% of workers — including nearly 1 in 10 of those making over $100,000 per year — live paycheck to paycheck. And while it’s tempting to think these individuals must be struggling due to poor spending habits, such as dining out too often, the calculations from the EPI and MIT show that in many areas, a family could easily have trouble making ends meet, even on a $100,000 salary.

The detailed cost breakdowns from the EPI and MIT calculators shed some light on just why so many people struggle to get by on what looks like a middle-class income. They identify four expenses that hit budgets particularly hard: child care, housing, transportation, and health care.

Child Care

According to MIT, the average family of four spends 21.6% of its income on child care — more than it devotes to housing. Like so many other costs, this one varies widely by region.

For instance, according to Child Care Aware, the average cost of day care in Massachusetts is more than $36,000 for an infant and a 4-year-old. For a family with a $100,000 annual income, keeping these two children in day care would eat up more than one-third of its earnings. By contrast, in Arkansas, the average cost for two children of these ages is only $10,936 — around 11% of that same $100,000 income.

Housing

MIT reports the average family spends 17.2% of its income on housing. However, this expense varies even more dramatically than child care costs.

In some cities, rent and mortgage costs are ridiculously high. The most notorious of these is San Francisco, where according to a 2018 SmartAsset study, the average rent is nearly $4,400 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. That means a family of four (with the children sharing a room) would have to spend over $52,000 per year on rent — more than half the annual budget for a family making $100,000.

However, the same study found that in Memphis, Tennessee, the average rent for a two-bedroom is just $769 per month, or $9,228 per year. That’s less than 10% of a $100,000 salary.

Transportation

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that the average American family spends about 19% of its budget on transportation. This cost also varies by location — but in just the opposite way from housing costs. While housing is usually most expensive in densely populated cities, transportation costs most in the “exurbs” — the distant outskirts of a city, where cars are the only way to get around.

According to the FHA, families in the exurbs spend an average of 25% of their income on transportation. By contrast, those in cities and other walkable neighborhoods can often live without a car, cutting their transportation costs down to 9% of their income. That creates a dilemma for many people: deciding whether to move into the city and pay exorbitant rates for rent or stay out in the suburbs and spend more money — and more time — driving.

Health Care

Health care costs also take a big bite out of many people’s budgets. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average employer-sponsored family health care plan cost $21,342 in 2020, and workers paid $5,588 of that out of their own pockets. For individuals, the average total cost is $7,470, with workers paying $1,243.

For those who must buy their own health plans, such as self-employed people, the costs are higher still. According to a June 2020 eHealth study, families that purchased a health insurance policy through the federal exchange in 2020 paid an average of $1,152 per month — $13,824 per year — in premiums. On top of that, the average family policy had an annual deductible of $8,439, so a family’s out-of-pocket health care costs could easily come to more than $22,000.

Individuals paid an average of $456 per month ($5,472 per year) with deductibles of $4,364, for a total potential out-of-pocket cost of almost $10,000. That’s significantly better than the cost for families, but if you only make $30,000 per year, it’s still a third of your income.

Student Loans

Many Americans are struggling with one more expense the EPI and MIT calculators don’t even mention: student loan payments. According to the Pew Research Center, 37% of all adults under age 30 and 22% of those aged 30 to 44 have student loans they’re still working to pay off.

Like many other expenses, student loan debt varies by location. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, the average student loan balance for graduating college seniors in 2019 was nearly $29,000. However, in Utah, the average was under $18,000, while in New Hampshire, it was over $29,400. Overall, graduates in the Northeast tend to carry the most debt, while those in the Southwest have the least.

Pro tip: If you have student loan debt, consider refinancing to a lower interest rate. This can help reduce the amount of time it takes to become debt-free. Companies like Credible allow you to compare lenders so you can find the best possible rates. They’re even offering a cash bonus to Money Crashers readers of up to $750.


A Survival Wage vs. a Living Wage

The SPM and the EPI and MIT living wage calculators offer vastly different pictures of what it takes for a family to get by. All three agree it varies considerably by location, but across all areas, the SPM’s standard is much lower than either the EPI’s or MIT’s. There are differences between the EPI and MIT estimates too, with MIT’s typically being higher. But they’re much closer to each other than either of them is to the SPM.

That reflects the fact that the SPM isn’t really meant to be a living wage in the same sense as the EPI and MIT measures. The SPM is merely an alternative way of calculating the poverty level. It reflects the bare minimum people need to survive, assuming they take advantage of all available forms of government aid.

The EPI and MIT calculators, by contrast, are looking at how much people need to live decently. That means meeting all their basic needs without depending on government benefits. It means living in a home that’s structurally sound and sanitary, eating nutritious food, and having a car if necessary. It also allows for items beyond the bare necessities, such as clothing, cleaning supplies, personal care, and phone or Internet service.

There’s a lot of middle ground between the poverty budget set by the SPM and the living wage set by the EPI and MIT. That means there are many low-wage workers in the U.S. who aren’t technically living in poverty but are still financially insecure. It’s a constant struggle for them to pay for minor expenses like a car repair or new shoes for their kids. They make enough to get by but not to get ahead.

There’s one point on which all three guidelines agree: The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is not a true living wage. In many parts of the country, it’s not even a subsistence wage.

At $7.25 per hour, a two-earner family would bring in $30,160 per year. Even according to the bare-bones SPM standard, that’s not enough to support a family of four in suburban DeKalb County or urban Los Angeles and New York. And based on the EPI and MIT calculators, it’s not nearly enough in Oklahoma City or Baird.

In fact, according to the EPI and MIT, even Biden’s proposal for a $15-per-hour minimum wage isn’t ambitious enough. In Baird, the cheapest of the five municipalities on the list, MIT calculates it would take two incomes of at least $18.63 per hour to support a family of four. The EPI’s cost of living estimate for Baird is a bit lower, but it still works out to an hourly wage of $16.19, more than a dollar above the proposed level. And in every other city on the list, the minimum wage would need to be around $20 per hour or more.

Of course, passing a minimum wage this high at the federal level is overwhelmingly unlikely. Given how much resistance there is to the idea of a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, there’s essentially no chance Congress could ever agree on anything like the $27-per-hour living wage needed in Los Angeles.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to. If the federal government doesn’t intervene, individual states and cities can tackle the problem by passing their own minimum wage laws to ensure workers living there can make enough to maintain a decent, modest lifestyle. Given the wide variation in the living wage across different parts of the country, it’s a viable way to meet workers’ needs in high-priced cities without unduly burdening employers elsewhere in the country.


Final Word

There’s no way to pin down the meaning of a living wage with a single number. The cost of living varies too much from one part of the country to another. If lawmakers want to set the minimum wage at a livable level for everyone, they’ll have to do it at the city and state levels — which is exactly what’s happening now.

That’s where the EPI and MIT data can be a real help. State and local governments wrangling over the minimum wage can use these tools to figure out just how much a household needs to get by in their area. Based on this information, they can make sensible policy choices — not just about wages, but also about who should qualify for benefits, such as food aid or reduced mortgage rates.

The EPI and MIT calculators are useful for individuals too. Looking at these budget calculators can help you evaluate your household budget and see how the amount you’re spending in different categories compares to the reasonable minimum. You can also use these tools to estimate how much it would cost to have a child or how much you could save by moving to another city.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Moving to Las Vegas: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re wanting to move to Sin City, now is the time to do it.

There’s so much culture and diversity to embrace in fabulous Las Vegas. Despite it being known as the “City of Lost Wages,” there are a lot of opportunities when moving to Las Vegas.

The cost of living has stayed fairly low and it isn’t too crowded, especially when compared to other large urban areas. But it might not stay that way forever. Many California residents are packing up and moving here where they can afford a higher lifestyle at a fraction of the price.

So, don’t waste any time deciding if moving to Las Vegas makes sense for you. The city is expanding and you’ll want to take advantage of the growth sooner rather than later. Here’s what you need to know.

las vegas nv

Las Vegas overview

As one of the most famous cities in the world, you’ve probably heard a fair share about Las Vegas. You maybe even visited once or twice. But what you hear about and experience on a vacation is vastly different than living here.

The locals don’t hit the Strip every night and party non-stop. In fact, in many parts of Vegas, you’ll find quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods. Due to the reasonable cost of living, this city is rapidly growing into a desirable destination.

  • Population: 651,319
  • Population density (people per square mile): 4,298.2
  • Median income: $53,575
  • Studio average rent: $778
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,236
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,454
  • Cost of living index: 105.7

las vegas nv

Popular neighborhoods in Las Vegas

Not all of fabulous Las Vegas is lights and excitement. Each neighborhood has its own quirks and perks. Whether you’re a young professional that’s starting out on your own or you’ve got a family, there’s a neighborhood suited just for you.

  • Summerlin: Summerlin has lots of community events like farmers markets and free activities. There’s plenty of shopping and great restaurants and it’s only about a 20-minute drive to the Strip. It’s also one of the safest communities in the city,
  • Downtown: Downtown Las Vegas was big before the Strip came along and stole the show. You’ll find lots of great restaurants and eclectic vintage shops here!
  • Centennial Hills: This suburb is known to have a little more of a “rural” vibe (or at least, as rural as it can get in a big city like Vegas). Many people who own horses choose to live in this area for the ample space it offers. It’s family-friendly and has lots of outdoor spaces like parks and splash pads for kids to enjoy on those hot summer days.
  • Arts District: Hipsters flock to The Arts District to experience the best aspects of the city without the typical over-the-top Las Vegas flair. As its name suggests, it’s full of art, along with fun second-hand and vintage stores. It was even dubbed the “least Vegas neighborhood in Vegas” by The New York Times. So, even though it’s right there near the Strip, it’s a completely different world.
  • North Cheyenne: Located near the Las Vegas airport, North Cheyenne is very convenient for anyone who travels frequently. It’s a quieter part of town and is more of a suburb, but it’s really affordable and reasonably safe in comparison to other parts of Vegas.

The pros of moving to Las Vegas

There’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy living in Las Vegas. While daily life as a resident isn’t quite as fun and exciting as a weekend getaway, there are still plenty of positive aspects of living in the city.

las vegas strip

You’ll never be bored

Much of Las Vegas is open 24 hours, so you’ll be able to do most of what you want at any point in the day. You can always access areas of the Strip and Downtown with shows, shopping, bars and clubs, many of which offer discounts to the locals. Or, you can enjoy the endless shopping and new restaurants around town. There’s also surprisingly great outdoor recreation at Mount Charleston (you can even ski there in the winter) and Valley of Fire. You can even go boating at Lake Mead.

It’s a traveler’s paradise

One of the perks of living in a city that people from every corner of the globe visit is that you have access to an international airport that has daily flights to almost anywhere in the world. If you prefer to drive, you’re between three and four hours away from Los Angeles and Anaheim — many Las Vegas residents get season passes to Disneyland and take quick weekend trips (some even make it a single day trip!). Plus, the national parks of both California and Utah are easily accessible and you can make it to plenty of them in just a few hours.

Lots of diverse and delicious food

Not only do you have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing restaurants that serve every type of food imaginable, you’ll also find plenty of diverse international markets. You’ll get your pick of Moroccan, Puerto Rican, Malaysian, Greek, Peruvian and whatever other foods you like. Or, if you’re out for a night of excessive eating, you can go for one of the many buffets the city is known for.

The cons of moving to Las Vegas

With the good comes the bad — after all, no city is perfect and you’re always going to come across things you don’t like. Here are a few of the not-so-great things you can expect in Las Vegas.

las vegas desert

The heat

In other places with hot summers, it’s typically a tolerable heat and you can still do outdoor activities without feeling too uncomfortably hot. But in Vegas, the scorching hot summers make it almost unbearable anywhere that doesn’t have air conditioning. Sometimes, it’s even too hot for pools to open. And even if they’re open, the water won’t be nearly as refreshing — it feels more like soaking in a hot bath.

But if you need something entertaining to do while you’re at home during the extreme temperatures, you can test how long it takes for a scoop of ice cream to turn to liquid on the cement (times of eight seconds have frequently been reported) or you can try cooking an egg on the sidewalk!

Public transportation isn’t great

If you’re used to having access to a variety of great public transportation options like metros, buses and trams and not relying on a personal vehicle, then living in Vegas will be a major change for you. If you don’t have access to a car that you can drive around the city, you’ll spend hours waiting for and sitting on a bus, because that’s really your only other option.

You can always use ride-sharing services, but that can get pretty expensive when you consider that getting from one end of town to the other could take you upwards of 30 minutes.

It’s really dry

With it being a desert, you would expect Las Vegas to be dry. Because of that, lush greenery really doesn’t grow here. Some homes still have grass in their yard, but most people opt for desert landscaping — dirt, rocks and a few desert plants.

If you’re someone with long hair, get ready to double down on your deep conditioning routine — your hair will need it!

How to get started on your move to Las Vegas

Is the Entertainment Capital of the World the right place for you? No matter the kind of life you desire, there’s something for everyone in Las Vegas.

To get you started on your big move, check out the Moving Center for more information about planning your move, including free quotes and moving tips!

We use a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments to determine our rent prices. Data was pulled in January 2021 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Population and income numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com

How to File Bankruptcy: Everything You Need to Know

The mere thought of filing for bankruptcy is enough to make anyone nervous. But in some cases, it really can be the best option for your financial situation. Even though it stays as a negative item on your credit report for up to ten years, bankruptcy often relieves the burden of overwhelming amounts of debt.

United States Bankruptcy Courthouse

There are actually three different types of bankruptcy, and each one is designed to help people with specific needs. Read on to find out which type of bankruptcy you might be eligible for. We’ll also help you determine whether it really is the best option available.

What are the different types of bankruptcy?

In general, bankruptcy is the process of eliminating some or all of your debt, or in some cases, repaying it under different terms from your original agreements with your creditors.

It’s a very serious endeavor but can help alleviate your debt if you calculate that it’s unlikely to you’ll be able to repay everything throughout the coming years.

The two most common for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 11 is primarily used for businesses but can apply to individuals in some instances. Take a look at the other details that set them apart from each other.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for individuals meeting certain income guidelines who can’t afford to repay their creditors. You must pass a means test in order to qualify. Then, instead of making payments, your personal property may be sold off to help settle your debts, including both secured and unsecured loans.

There are certain exemptions you can apply for in order to keep some things from being taken away. It all depends on which debts are delinquent. If your mortgage is headed towards foreclosure, you might only be able to delay the process through a Chapter 7 delinquency.

If you’re only delinquent on unsecured debt, like credit card debt or personal loans, then you can file for an exemption on major items like your home and car. That way they won’t be repossessed and auctioned off.

Eligible exemptions vary by state. Usually, there is a value assigned to your assets that are eligible for exemption. You may keep them as long as they are within that maximum value. For example, if your state has a $3,000 auto exemption and your car is only valued at $2,000 then you get to keep it.

Most places also allow you to subtract any outstanding loan amount to put towards the exemption. So in the situation above, if your car is valued at $6,000 but you have $3,000 left on your car loan then you’re still within the exemption limit.

Chapter 7 is the fastest option to go through, lasting just between three and six months. It’s also usually the cheapest option in terms of legal fees. However, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay your attorney’s fees upfront if you choose this option.

Chapter 13

A chapter 13 bankruptcy is the standard option when you make too much money to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The benefit is that you get to keep your property but instead repay your creditors over a three to five year period. Your repayment plan depends on a number of variables.

All administrative fees, priority debts (like back taxes, alimony, and child support), and secured debts must be paid back in full over the repayment period. These must be paid back if you want to keep the property, such as your house or car.

The amount you’ll have to repay on your unsecured debts can vary drastically. It depends on the amount of disposable income you have, the value of any nonexempt property, and the length of your repayment plan.

How long your plan lasts is actually determined by the amount of money you earn and is based on income standards for your state. For example, if you make more than the median monthly income, you must repay your debts for a full five years.

If you make less than that amount, you may be able to reduce your repayment period to as little as three years. You can enter your financial information into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy calculator for an estimate of what your monthly payments might look like in this situation.

To qualify for Chapter 13, your debts must be under predetermined maximums. For unsecured debt, your total may not surpass $1,149,525 and your secured debt may not surpass $383,175. However, unlike Chapter 7, you may include overdue mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is usually associated with companies. However, it can also be an option for individuals, especially if their debt levels exceed the Chapter 13 limits. A lot of the characteristics of Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 are the same, such as saving secured property from being repossessed.

Having to pay back priority debts in full and having a higher income bracket than a Chapter 7 are also common characteristics. However, unlike a Chapter 13, you must make repayment for the entire five years with a Chapter 11. There is no option to pay for just three years, no matter where you live or how much you make.

Another reason to pick Chapter 11 is if you are a small business owner or own real estate properties. Rather than losing your business or your income properties, you get to restructure your debt and catch up on payments while still operating your business, whether it’s as a CEO or as a landlord.

One downside to be aware of with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it’s usually the most expensive option. However, you can pay your legal fees over time so you don’t have to worry about spiraling back into debt.

What are the long term effects of bankruptcy?

It should come as no surprise that going through a bankruptcy causes your credit score to plummet. Depending on what else is on your report, your score could drop anywhere between 160 and 220 points.

Those effects linger. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years. And a Chapter 7 remains there for as many as ten years. Their effects on your credit score do, however, begin to diminish as time goes by.

You’ll probably have trouble getting access to credit immediately following your bankruptcy. Eventually, you’ll start getting approved for loans and credit cards, but your interest rates are likely to be extremely high.

A new mortgage will probably be out of reach for at least five to seven years from the time you file for bankruptcy. Additionally, any employer performing a credit check can see all of these items on your credit report.

Government agencies can’t legally discriminate against you because of your bankruptcy, but there is no specific rule for privately-owned companies. It could be particularly damaging if the job you’re applying for deals with money or any type of financials. No matter where you work, though, you can’t be fired from a current employer because of a bankruptcy.

Should I file bankruptcy?

bankruptcy stress

There’s no correct answer to this question and it’s ultimately something you’ll need to decide on your own. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re making the best decision possible. Start off by finding a licensed credit counselor to help analyze your individual situation. They’ll help you review the guidelines for each type of bankruptcy and determine if you’re even eligible.

At first glance, filing for bankruptcy may seem like a great way to settle your debts and move on with your life. Unfortunately, the process isn’t as simple as filling out a form. The effects of bankruptcy will stick with you for years.

As you begin the evaluation process of whether or not bankruptcy is right for you, there are a number of considerations to take into account. This overview will get you thinking about your situation. It will also point you in the right direction for more in-depth resources when you need them.

Is your current status temporary or permanent?

You should also look at your expected future and compare your potential earnings to your amounts of debt. If you don’t realistically see how you’ll ever pay off that debt, then bankruptcy may be a wise option. Also, understand the types of debt you owe. Tax payments, student loans, and liens on your mortgage or car will not be discharged even when you file for bankruptcy.

Once you figure out which specific options are available to you, it’s time to contact a bankruptcy attorney. You’re certainly able to represent yourself, but the process is complicated. It’s usually best to have a professional work on the case on your behalf. Just be sure to interview a few different lawyers to get multiple opinions and prices to compare.

Evaluate Your Situation

Even when your bankruptcy is underway, it’s smart to spend some time evaluating how you got there. Was it due to a one-time financial hardship, like a long bout of unemployment? If that’s the case, then you know that you have a brighter future ahead of you with the promise of work and steady income to pay your bills.

However, if you’re on the path to bankruptcy because of reckless spending, you really need to look inward and address your overspending habits. Otherwise, it becomes too easy to put yourself in the same situation a few years down the road. Use your bankruptcy as a second chance to start fresh with a clean financial slate.

Why Consider Bankruptcy?

If you’re considering bankruptcy, then you’re most likely feeling overburdened with debt and other financial obligations. You probably have a tough time paying your bills each month and may even worry how you’ll ever pay off some of your outstanding balances.

If you’ve already exhausted your other options, like working overtime and cutting back on your non-necessities, it might be time to seriously think about potentially declaring bankruptcy. Some signs that you might be ready include:

  • Increased interest rates because of late payments or bad credit
  • Using credit cards for daily purchases without paying off the balance each month
  • Already downsized things like house, car, and other assets
  • Working multiple shifts or jobs
  • Paying off debt with retirement funds
  • Wages are being garnished

If one or more of these situations apply to you, then you should probably continue your research into bankruptcy. If not, try finding other ways to improve your financial situation. For example, you could rework your budget if there are easy places to cut back on.

You can also try negotiating with your lenders, particularly if you’re experiencing just a short-term setback. Most lenders are willing to work with you. They would much rather set up a new payment plan than have the debt discharged or settled through bankruptcy.

Understanding Bankruptcy and Alternatives

If you want to file for bankruptcy it takes careful planning. Due to the long-term legal and financial consequences of bankruptcy, there are many rules that must be followed before you’re eligible.

For example, it’s necessary to show the courts you have obtained credit counseling and considered alternatives like debt settlement or debt consolidation. Bankruptcy is controlled exclusively by the federal judicial system, which strongly recommends hiring an attorney before attempting to file.

If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer contact the American Bar Association. They offer free legal advice and you may qualify for free legal services if you are unable to afford an attorney.

Creating a Checklist to Avoid Dismissal

Before you file for bankruptcy, there are a number of important questions you should ask yourself. There are also several key steps that you need to take. First, it’s necessary to ask yourself if you really need to file for bankruptcy.

If you don’t, you probably won’t be approved anyway. You also need to calculate income, expenses and assets, find a trustworthy attorney, and select a credit counseling program.

It’s helpful to be methodical and to use a checklist. Failure to take the right steps and find the right credit counseling could result in more wasted money and a bankruptcy dismissal where they throw out the case.

Reasons to Delay Bankruptcy

Even if bankruptcy is the best choice for you, there may be some situations where it’s smart to delay the process so you can maximize your benefits. First, if you had a high income within the last six months that no longer applies to your situation, then you might want to wait.

That’s because the court weighs your last six months of income to determine your eligibility for Chapter 7. If you had a nice monthly salary a few months ago but have been laid off since then, that means test isn’t going to reflect your current situation accurately.

Another reason to delay bankruptcy is if you are anticipating an upcoming major debt. New debt isn’t allowed to be discharged once you file for bankruptcy.

So, for example, if you’re about to have a major medical surgery, you might consider waiting until it’s over to include the medical bills as part of your bankruptcy plan. Talk to a professional to see the eligibility requirements. Luxury items charged right before bankruptcy, for example, likely won’t be included as part of your debt discharge.

Changes in Bankruptcy Law

Before getting started, it’s important to note the changes that went into effect in 2005 under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). While the changes don’t affect some people applying for bankruptcy, they may affect others.

The law requires mandatory credit counseling to make sure you fully understand the consequences of declaring bankruptcy. It also created stricter eligibility requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcies. For Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the law requires tax returns and proof of income.

An informed decision begins with understanding the law, the bankruptcy process, and what has changed. It’s important to better understand these changes before you make any final decisions.

Filing Under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

Understanding how bankruptcy works means understanding the process and laws related to Chapters 7 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on the details of your situation, you might be eligible to file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Which route you choose has a lot to do with your income and what assets you want to keep.

Your debts can either be resolved quickly or over a several-year period. It’s helpful to read up on in-depth frequently asked questions related to each route.

Calculating Chapter 7 Means

To have all your unsecured debts completely eliminated under Chapter 7, you must qualify under the Chapter 7 means test. Using your personal information, or a basic estimate, an online calculator can help determine this for you. When filing, you must also fill out an appropriate form in which you enter your income, expense information, and data from the Census Bureau and IRS.

If you don’t meet the income level requirements to file for Chapter 7, you can still file for Chapter 13. A Chapter 13 will settle many of your debts after you successfully complete a three to five-year repayment program.

Qualifying and Qualifying Debts

Your debts qualify for bankruptcy relief when you can prove you are unable to pay them, but a great deal depends on your situation and which chapter you are filing under. Debts can be either unsecured or secured. Secured debts include mortgages, cars, and debts related to a property you’re still paying for.

Unsecured debts include credit card debt, bills, collections, judgments, and unsecured loans. It’s important to know which debts qualify for bankruptcy. But, it’s even more important to know whether or not your situation makes you eligible for this major step. To determine this, a full financial assessment is necessary. You can start by reading more about debts that qualify.

Defaulting on a Student Loan

If you have defaulted on a student loan, there are several options open you. Bankruptcy is one of them, but if your goal is to have a student loan discharged under Chapter 7, this can very difficult.

Nevertheless, taking certain steps as soon as possible can help prevent wage garnishment. Knowing your options can help you make the best choice before matters become more difficult. Under Chapter 13, your defaulted loan can be consolidated with your other bills. This will give you a better payment plan or a temporary reprieve from making payments.

If you have a federal student loan, check out your repayment options, especially if you are facing financial hardship. Otherwise, read more to figure out how to pull yourself out of student loan default.

What Assets You Can Keep During Bankruptcy

Depending on how you file for bankruptcy, there are certain assets you can keep. Different states have different exemptions, and in certain states, you can choose between state and federal bankruptcy exemptions.

If you need to have debts discharged, are out of work, and cannot afford a repayment plan, some assets might be lost. In most cases, however, people who file for bankruptcy can keep their homes and cars and much of what they own while they repay their debts under a modified plan. It all depends on your unique circumstances and how you file.

Get a FREE Credit Evaluation Before You File Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy can affect your credit for 7 to 10 years and should be considered a last resort option when all other options have failed. Many times people file bankruptcy when it is completely unnecessary. A credit professional can help you fix your credit and deal with your creditors so you can avoid filing for bankruptcy.

Before filing bankruptcy, talk to a credit specialist:

Call 1 (800) 220-0084 for a FREE Credit Consultation with a paralegal.

Source: crediful.com

New Home Sales on the Rise 4.3% in January

New home sales continued the turnaround, started in
December, that ended three straight months of slowing sales. The U.S. Census
Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said newly constructed
homes were sold in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000
units. This is an increase of 4.3 percent compared to the upwardly revised
(from 842,000) rate of 885,000 in December and 19.3 percent above the estimate
of 774,000 units in January 2020.

Analysts polled by Econoday had projected sales to be
flat compared to the December estimate, in a range of 809,000 to 905,000 units.
Their consensus was 855,000 annualized sales.

Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National
Association of Home Builders, said “Housing affordability headwinds are rising
for 2021, due to supply-side challenges such as elevated lumber costs and
prospects for increased regulatory burdens associated with land development and
building. The median sales price in January was $346,400, a 5.3% gain from a
year earlier.
Price discipline will be key for 2021 volume growth, given rising
material costs.”

Sales for the month were estimated at 70,000 homes on
a non-seasonally adjusted basis. The estimate for December was 59,000 units.

The median price of a home sold during the month, as Dietz
said, was $346,400 and the average was $408,800. In January 2020, the respective
prices were $328,900 and $384,000.

The report estimates there were 307,000 new homes
available for sale at the end of January. This is estimated at a 4.0-month
supply at the current sales pace compared to a 4.1-month supply in December and
5.0 months of inventory the prior January.

Sales in the Northeast fell 13.9 percent compared to
December and were 8.8 percent below their level a year earlier. The Midwest saw
increases of 12.6 percent and 10.3 percent from the two earlier periods. There
was a 3.0 percent month-over-month gain in the South and sales jumped 40.4
percent on an annual basis. The West had 6.8 percent more sales than in
December, but 6.3 percent fewer year-over-year.

Source: mortgagenewsdaily.com

10 Cities Where Black Americans Fare Best Economically

Where Black Americans Fare Best Economically – 2021 Study – SmartAsset

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Nationwide, when it comes to wealth and personal finance success, Black Americans generally have less. Census data from 2019 shows that the median Black household income is 33% lower than the overall median household income and the Black homeownership rate is 22 percentage points lower than the general homeownership rate. Data on wealth accumulation depicts even starker disparities: Black families’ net worth is 87% lower than that of white families and 33% lower than that of Hispanic families, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances.

Though the national picture is less than encouraging, economic outcomes for Black Americans are better in some places than others. In this study, we determined the cities where Black Americans fared best economically leading up to 2020. We compared 129 cities across six metrics: median Black household income, Black homeownership rate, Black labor force participation rate, poverty rate for Black residents, percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree and percentage of business owners who are Black. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • Six of the top 10 cities are located in Texas, Florida and North Carolina. These cities are Grand Prairie and Garland, Texas; Pembroke Pines and Miramar, Florida; and Charlotte and Durham, North Carolina. In both of the Texas and Florida cities, the median Black household income is higher than $61,000 and the Black homeownership rate is 46% or higher – compared to study-wide averages of about $43,000 and 35%, respectively. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Durham rank particularly well for our education and metro area business ownership metrics. In both North Carolina locales, more than 30% of Black adults have their bachelor’s degree and at least 3% of businesses are Black-owned – compared to study-wide averages of about 23% and 2%, respectively.
  • Preliminary 2020 estimates show that Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by not only the health impacts of COVID-19, but also its corresponding economic effects. The regional economic effects of COVID-19 on Black Americans are difficult to determine due to insufficient localized data, but the available national data paints a grim picture: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that as of December 2020, the Black unemployment rate was 3.9
    and 3.2 percentage points higher than the white and overall unemployment rates, respectively. Additionally, the Black labor force participation rate was about 2.0 percentage points lower than both white and overall participation rates.

1. Virginia Beach (tie)

Virginia Beach, Virginia ranks in the top 10 cities for four of the six metrics we considered. It has the seventh-highest median Black household income, at roughly $65,600, and the sixth-highest 2019 Black labor force participation rate, at 78.7%. Additionally, Census Bureau data shows that the 2019 poverty rate for Black residents in Virginia Beach is 10%, fourth-lowest in our study. In the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area, more than 5% of businesses are Black-owned, the seventh-highest percentage for this metric overall.

1. Grand Prairie, TX (tie)

Grand Prairie, Texas ties with Virginia Beach, Virginia as the city where Black Americans fare best economically. It has the fourth-highest Black labor force participation rate (at 79.9%) and the lowest Black poverty rate (at less than 5%) of all 129 cities in our study. Additionally, more than a third of Black residents in Grand Prairie have their bachelor’s degree and the median Black household income is more than $63,000. The city ranks sixth and 10th out of 129 for those two metrics, respectively.

3. Aurora, IL (tie)

Aurora, Illinois ranks in the top third of all 129 cities for five of the six metrics we considered, falling behind only for its metro area’s relatively low concentration of Black-owned businesses. It has the fourth-highest Black homeownership rate (about 52%), sixth-highest median Black household income (about $65,900) and 10th-lowest Black poverty rate (11.9%). Aurora’s Black labor force participation rate is 73.5%, ranking 15th overall for this metric. Moreover, more than 29% of Black residents in the city have their bachelor’s degree, ranking 26th overall.

3. Pembroke Pines, FL (tie)

Just north of Miami, Florida’s Pembroke Pines ties for the No. 3 spot. Across all 129 cities, it has the second-highest Black homeownership rate – 60.20% – and the sixth-lowest 2019 Black poverty rate – 10.6%. Additionally, incomes for Black households are relatively high. In 2019, the median Black household income was about $61,500, the 11th-highest in our study.

5. Miramar, FL

The Black homeownership rate in Miramar, Florida is the highest in our study, at 68.07%. This is about 26 percentage points higher than the 2019 national Black homeownership rate, which is approximately 42%. Miramar additionally ranks in the top 15 cities for three other metrics: its high median Black household income (about $66,300), its high Black labor force participation rate (74.1%) and its relatively low Black poverty rate (7.9%).

6. Charlotte, NC

Though the median Black household income in Charlotte, North Carolina – at a little more than $46,300 – is relatively low, Charlotte ranks in the top third of cities for the other five metrics we considered. It has the 28th-highest Black homeownership rate (41.45%), the 18th-highest Black labor force participation rate (73.0%) and the 14th-lowest poverty rate for Black residents (13.6%). Additionally, more than 30% of Black adults have their bachelor’s degree and almost 4% of businesses in the larger Charlotte metro area are Black-owned – both of which rank within the top 25 out of all 129 cities in the study.

7. Garland, TX

The Black homeownership rate in Garland, Texas is the fifth-highest in our study, at 50.98%. This city has the 11th-highest Black labor force participation rate, at 75.8%. It also ranks in the top 15 for its median Black household income ($60,030) and the percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree (32.5%). Garland falls the most behind when it comes to the poverty rate for Black residents, which was 23.7% in 2019. That’s 1.2% higher than the national average for Black Americans and the worst of any city in our top 10.

8. Durham, NC

Only about two hours northeast of Charlotte, Durham, North Carolina takes the eighth spot on our list. The city ranks particularly well for its percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree (35.2%) and percentage of Black-owned businesses in the larger Durham-Chapel Hill metro area (4.7%). Additionally, the Black labor force participation rate is the 30th-highest across all 129 cities in the study, at 69.4%. The poverty rate for Black residents is 35th-lowest overall, at 18.9%.

9. Enterprise, NV

Enterprise, Nevada had the fifth-highest 2019 Black labor force participation rate (79.0%), the 16th-highest 2019 median Black household income (about $58,500) and 23rd-best 2019 Black homeownership rate (roughly 43%) of all 129 cities in our study. Enterprise falls behind, however, when it comes to the number of Black-owned businesses in the larger Las Vegas metro area, at less than 2%. The city ranks 67th out of 129 for this metric.

10. Elk Grove, CA

The median household income for Black residents in Elk Grove, California is a little more than $76,300, the second-highest in our study (ranking behind only Rancho Cucamonga, California, where the median household income is almost $92,000). Elk Grove also ranks in the top 10 cities for its relatively high Black homeownership rate (52.51%) and the relatively high percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree (35.1%). But like in Enterprise, Nevada, few businesses in the Elk Grove area are Black-owned. Annual Business Survey data from 2018 shows that less than 2% of employer firms in the greater Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade metro area are Black-owned.

Data and Methodology

To find the cities where Black Americans fare best economically, SmartAsset looked at the 200 largest cities in the U.S. Only 129 of those cities had complete data available, and we compared them across six metrics:

  • Median Black household income. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Black homeownership rate. This is the number of Black owner-occupied housing units divided by the number of Black occupied housing units. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Black labor force participation rate. This is for the Black population 16 years and older. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Poverty rate for Black residents. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree. This is for the Black population 25 years and older. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
  • Percentage of business owners who are Black. This is the number of Black-owned businesses with paid employees divided by the number of businesses with paid employees. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2018 Annual Business Survey and is at the metro area level.

To determine our final list, we ranked each city in every metric, giving a full weighting to all metrics. We then found each city’s average ranking and used the average to determine a final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.

Editors’ Note: SmartAsset published this study in celebration and recognition of Black History Month. Protests for racial justice and the outsized impact of COVID-19 on people of color have highlighted the social and economic injustice that many Americans continue to face. We are aiming to raise awareness surrounding economic inequities and provide personal finance resources and information to all individuals.

Financial Tips for Black Americans

  • See if homeownership makes sense. The Black homeownership rate is 22 percentage points lower than the general homeownership rate. Deciding whether or not to buy is often difficult. SmartAsset’s rent or buy calculator can help you compare the costs to see which one makes sense for your financial situation. Additionally, if you want to figure out how much you can afford to buy a house, our home-buying calculator will help you break down the target price for your income.
  • Some kind of retirement account is better than none. The Federal Reserve says that Black Americans are less likely to have a retirement account than white Americans. According to their 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, 65% of white middle-aged families have at least one retirement account, while only 44% of Black families in the same age group have one. Even though 401(k)s are a popular retirement plan because employers could match a percentage of your contributions, an IRA could also be another great opportunity to boost your savings. In 2021, the IRA contribution limit is $6,000 for people under 50 and $7,000 for people age 50 and older.
  • Consider a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you make smarter financial decisions to be in better control of your money. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com.

Photo credits: ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages, ©iStock.com/LeoPatrizi

Stephanie Horan, CEPF® Stephanie Horan is a data journalist at SmartAsset. A Certified Educator of Personal Finance (CEPF®), she sources and analyzes data to write studies relating to a variety of topics including mortgage, retirement and budgeting. Before coming to SmartAsset, she worked as an analyst at an asset management firm. Stephanie graduated from Williams College with a degree in Mathematics. Originally from Philadelphia, she has always been a Yankees fan and currently lives in New York.
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The 10 Worst States for Millennials

worst-states-for-millennials

Millennials are struggling. With rising student debt, stagnant wages, and avocado toast, many are working hard to hardly get by.

It is no surprise millennials are struggling financially. As a group, 24-39 years old earn less and have less assets than their parents did a generation ago. However, just like the job market and cost of living, where you live matters. We analyzed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to uncover where it is hardest for millennials to thrive.

Below we detail the criteria we used to rank the states and have the full ranked list. But first, let’s see the 10 states where millennials have it the roughest.

The south dominates this list with 5 of the top 10 being southern states. The other 5? Include some areas notorious for high costs of living or in economic distress.

Keep reading to see why these states have the least to offer millennials and to see the full list.

How We Determined The Worst States For Millennials

Each state and DC were ranked 1 to 51 in four categories:

  • Millennial Unemployment Rate
  • Average Student Loan Debt
  • Millennial Home Ownership
  • Percent Of Millennials Living In Poverty

All four categories were then averaged together, each weighted equally. The lower score in each category, the lower the rank. For example, DC’s $55,400 was the highest average student loan debt, earning it a rank of #1 for student loan debt.

Job type you want

Internship

We used the most recent American Community Survey 2014-2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau to get unemployment rate by state for those 25-34. The ACS data also provided the poverty rate by state for the 25-34 age demographic.

To analyze millennial home ownership, we once again used the ACS data to find the percentage of homeowners under 35 in each state.

To gather average student loan debt by millennial borrower, we used the most recent report from Educationdata.org.

If your state isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see where it lands on the full list. Otherwise, learn more about why these states are the worst place to be a millennial.

1. Mississippi

mississippi class=

Unemployment: 10%
Poverty Rate: 29%
Homeownership: 10%

It is no surprise to see Mississippi top the list of worst places to be a millennial. Mississippi often comes in dead last in education and quality of life metrics. Why is it so hard being a millennial in
the Magnolia state?

More than 1-in-4 Mississippi millennials live in poverty, in addition to facing the worst unemployment in the nation. While housing in Mississippi is relatively affordable, it’s simply not enough to help the millennials struggling just to get by.

2. Florida

florida class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 7%

Florida may be a beloved destination for vacationers, but millennial residents may find themselves experiencing hardship. Not only do Floridian millennials stand a 22% chance of living in poverty, the state also the 3rd worst Millennial homeownership rate in the nation.

The beautiful surroundings can only provide so much comfort to adults striving to make a living.

3. Alabama

alabama class=

Unemployment: 8%
Poverty Rate: 27%
Homeownership: 10%

Alabama comes in at #3 for the worst place to be a millennial. While unemployment for millennials is 2% lower than Mississippi, it’s still not great. 27% of Alabama millennials are below the federal poverty rate.

4. South Carolina

south carolina class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 10%

Just graduating college in South Carolina sets you up for an average $38,300 in student loan debt. Considering 7% of millennials are unemployed, it can’t be easy paying off those hefty student loan payments.

5. Georgia

georgia class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 21%
Homeownership: 10%

Georgia tells a similar story to other southern states that top the list– a high poverty rate, paired with less than stellar unemployment. Toss in the high average student debt and it’s easy to see it isn’t all peaches for millennials in the peach state.

6. North Carolina

north carolina class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 22%
Homeownership: 10%

North Carolina has similar stats to its neighbor, South Carolina- paired with worst homeownership and slightly less crippling debt.

7. West Virginia

west virginia class=

Unemployment: 9%
Poverty Rate: 32%
Homeownership: 9%

West Virginia is one of the states with a shrinking population. Every year residents are packing up and moving in hopes of a brighter future. Millennials in West Virginia have the highest poverty rate in the nation, with a depressing 1-3 live below the poverty level).

Pair that with sky high unemployment, and chances are pretty good wherever they move, the grass is greener.

8. New Mexico

new mexico class=

Unemployment: 8%
Poverty Rate: 27%
Homeownership: 10%

Why is it so rough being a millennial in New Mexico? A terrible 8% unemployment rate. Since jobs make creature comforts affordable, like food and shelter, this doesn’t bode well for millennials who call New Mexico home.

9. Oregon

oregon class=

Unemployment: 6%
Poverty Rate: 23%
Homeownership: 9%

In Oregon, more millennials are working than most other states. However judging from dismal homeownership rate and a surprisingly high poverty rate, folks are working just to get by in Oregon.

10. California

california class=

Unemployment: 7%
Poverty Rate: 20%
Homeownership: 8%

California may be the golden state, but for millennials living there may not look so shiny. High home costs mean home ownership is out of reach for many millennials. When paired with high unemployment and an unpleasantly high poverty rate, it earns California its spot at #10.

Some states offer Millennials worst opportunities than others

There you have it, the 10 states where millennials have the hardest time thriving.

At the end of the day, millennials are struggling nationwide. However, some states have less job opportunities, higher costs of living, and other blockers to achieving the American Dream– or even just not living in desperate poverty.

Where should millennials go for the best opportunities? Out west! Western states dominate the top 10 best states for millennials.

Best States For Millennials

  1. North Dakota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Iowa
  4. South Dakota
  5. Wyoming
  6. Minnesota
  7. Utah
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Kansas
  10. Colorado

If your state wasn’t in the top 10, you can see where it landed below.

See Where Your State Fell On The List:

Rank Geographic Area Name Unemployment(%) Poverty Rate(%) Homeownership(%) Student Debt
1 Mississippi 9 28 10 $36,700
1 Florida 6 21 7 $39,700
3 Alabama 8 26 10 $37,100
4 South Carolina 7 21 9 $38,300
5 Georgia 7 20 9 $41,500
6 North Carolina 6 21 9 $37,500
7 West Virginia 8 32 9 $31,800
8 New Mexico 8 27 10 $33,600
9 Oregon 6 22 9 $36,900
10 California 6 20 8 $36,400
11 New York 6 18 7 $37,800
12 Michigan 7 22 10 $35,900
13 Louisiana 7 26 11 $34,400
13 Tennessee 6 22 10 $36,200
15 Delaware 6 17 9 $37,000
15 Connecticut 7 17 7 $34,900
15 Hawaii 4 20 6 $36,500
18 Arizona 6 22 9 $34,100
19 New Jersey 6 17 7 $35,100
20 Illinois 6 18 10 $37,600
21 Maryland 6 15 9 $42,700
22 Pennsylvania 6 19 9 $35,400
23 Kentucky 6 24 11 $32,500
23 Ohio 6 21 10 $34,600
25 Nevada 6 20 10 $33,600
26 Maine 5 22 9 $32,500
26 Arkansas 6 24 11 $33,300
26 Virginia 5 16 9 $39,000
29 Rhode Island 6 18 8 $31,800
30 Vermont 4 15 8 $36,700
31 Missouri 5 20 11 $35,400
32 Massachusetts 5 16 8 $34,100
33 New Hampshire 3 15 8 $36,700
34 Washington 5 17 10 $35,000
35 Indiana 5 21 11 $32,800
36 Alaska 7 15 12 $33,600
37 Idaho 4 23 12 $32,600
37 District of Columbia 5 10 12 $55,400
39 Montana 4 21 10 $33,300
40 Oklahoma 5 23 12 $31,500
41 Texas 5 18 11 $32,800
42 Colorado 4 15 11 $35,800
43 Kansas 4 20 12 $32,500
44 Wisconsin 4 16 10 $31,800
45 Utah 3 20 15 $32,200
46 Minnesota 3 14 12 $33,400
47 Wyoming 5 17 13 $31,000
48 Iowa 3 19 13 $30,500
48 South Dakota 3 19 14 $31,100
50 Nebraska 3 17 13 $32,100
51 North Dakota 2 13 16 $29,200

Want the latest research and most engaging stories first? Email Kathy Morris at kmorris@zippia.com to be added to our weekly newsletter.

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Source: zippia.com

What Is Redlining?

Homeownership is a major goal for many people. Not only is a house the biggest purchase many will ever make, but owning a home is a way to build and transfer wealth.

While nearly 75% of non-Hispanic white Americans were homeowners in 2020, the homeownership rate was almost 60% for Asian Americans and just over 49% for Hispanic Americans, according to the Census Bureau. Black Americans were the least likely of all minority groups to own a house, at just over 44% in 2020.

Why the stark disparity? The answer, in part, is redlining, a discriminatory housing policy that made it difficult for Black, immigrant and poor families to buy homes for several decades. While redlining was banned more than 50 years ago, its negative effects are still felt today.

Redlining definition

Redlining is a term that describes the denial of mortgage financing to otherwise creditworthy borrowers because of their race or where they want to live.

The term was coined by sociologist John McKnight in the 1960s. It refers to areas marked in red on maps where banks would not lend money, but the discriminatory practice began much earlier.

In the 1930s, as part of the New Deal, the federal government created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation and the Federal Housing Administration to stabilize the housing industry.

The HOLC was designed to provide low-interest, emergency loans to homeowners in danger of foreclosure, while the FHA replaced high-interest loans of the early 20th century with longer-term, government-insured mortgages at lower interest rates.

To guide lending decisions, the HOLC instituted color-coded “residential security” maps. These maps separated areas the HOLC considered safe for lending from areas that should be avoided. Although the HOLC said the maps would help lenders assess risk and property values, racial biases were clearly at play.

Neighborhoods that were predominantly white were usually colored in green or blue and considered the least risky. It was easier to get home loans in these areas.

Areas with a high number of Black, Jewish and Asian families, which often had older homes or were closer to industrial areas, were typically shaded in red and labeled “hazardous.” Almost no lender would provide mortgages in these areas.

Areas that bordered Black neighborhoods were colored yellow and were also rarely approved for loans.

Effects of redlining

The grading of neighborhoods based on perceived credit risk restricted the ability of Blacks and other minority groups to get affordable loans or even to rent in certain areas.

Exclusion from government lending programs

The FHA, as well as private banks and insurers, used the HOLC’s redlining practices to guide their underwriting decisions.

As a result, it was almost impossible for nonwhite Americans to gain access to the affordable loans offered by agencies like the FHA and Veterans Administration — programs supposedly intended to expand homeownership.

In fact, nonwhite people received just 2% of the $120 billion in housing financed by government agencies between 1934 and 1962, historian George Lipsitz notes in his book “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness.”

Racially restrictive covenants

Racially restrictive covenants are agreements, often included in a property deed, that prevent property owners from selling or leasing to certain racial groups.

These covenants reinforced redlining by prohibiting Blacks and other groups from buying or occupying property in various cities throughout the country.

Although the GI Bill promised low-cost home loans to veterans of World War II, lending discrimination and racially restrictive covenants meant Black soldiers couldn’t buy homes in developing suburbs, for example.

Racially restrictive covenants remain in some real estate deeds, though a 1948 Supreme Court ruling says they aren’t enforceable.

Even so, decades later, Black and Hispanic Vietnam War veterans and their families encountered similar racial discrimination when trying to buy and rent homes in certain areas.

Is redlining illegal?

Angered by the inability of Vietnam War veterans of color to obtain housing, groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People pressured the government to pass the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

As part of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act made it illegal for mortgage lenders and landlords to discriminate against someone for their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Redlining maps may no longer be in use, but more than 50 years after the law was passed, housing discrimination still exists, says Andre M. Perry, a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

Paired testing studies using equally qualified home seekers of different races have found that some real estate agents discriminate against people of color by not showing them properties in white neighborhoods or showing them fewer homes in general.

Perry also says research he published in 2018 shows homes in Black majority areas are undervalued by $48,000 on average, resulting in $156 billion in cumulative losses.

“Just because a law changed, it doesn’t mean the practices and procedures that still may devalue homes in Black neighborhoods, aren’t still there,” he says. “Ultimately, it’s the reduction of wealth that is the most harmful aspect of redlining.”

How redlining reinforced the racial wealth gap

The racial wealth gap is a term that describes the difference between the median wealth of whites compared with other groups. The median and mean net worth of Black families are less than 15% that of white families, according to Federal Reserve 2019 data.

The disparity exists today because Blacks were locked out of homeownership by redlining and were unable to build generational wealth, says Nikitra Bailey, an executive vice president at the Center for Responsible Lending.

“This persistent gap in homeownership opportunities between white families and families of color literally is rooted in the fact white families got a head start,” Bailey adds.

In fact, the homeownership divide between Blacks and whites is back to where it was in 1890, according to the National Fair Housing Alliance. And the gap is even larger than it was in 1968 when the Fair Housing Act was enacted.

Sheryl Pardo, a spokesperson for the nonprofit research organization Urban Institute, stresses that national, state and local policies are needed to address the homeownership and racial wealth inequities redlining has left behind.

The Urban Institute’s proposals include zoning laws to improve access to affordable housing, counseling before and after purchasing a home to prepare borrowers for the costs of homeownership, the expansion of down payment assistance programs and the development of financial products for homeowners to repair, maintain and improve their homes.

“Homeownership is still the most significant wealth-building tool in this country,” Pardo says. “If you want the Black community to make up that distance, homeownership has to be a key piece of it. It’s almost like you need a shock-and-awe response. It’s not going to happen by tweaking one little lever.”

Source: nerdwallet.com

Even with high lumber prices, new home sales beat

Extreme increases in lumber prices have caused some people to go bearish on new home sales. Not this one! If we play a version of rock, paper, and scissors with lumber prices and mortgage rates, mortgage rates will win. Mortgage rates have a much more significant influence on the new home sales market than lumber prices, even at their current highs.

Proof of this is the recent new home sales report released by the Census Bureau. New home sales beat expectations by a lot, and all the revisions to the last report were positive.

Last month, I wrote that we should have expected new home sales to moderate after their parabolic rise.

Sales are still working to find a sustainable trend after the massive distortion in all housing data lines due to COVID-19. This recent report, especially regarding the positive revisions to the last report, tells a solid story for new home sales in 2021 as long as rates stay low.


From Census:  “Sales of new single-family houses in January 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.3% (±18.1%)* above the revised December rate of 885,000 and is 19.3% (±19.5%)* above the January 2020 estimate of 774,000.

When reviewing new home sales data, it is wise to keep an eye on the monthly supply. When the monthly supply is 4.3 and below, builders will have the confidence to continue building. This is especially true when the 3-month average is 4.3 months or below. Currently, inventory is at four months with a three-month average of 4.06 months of supply, so it’s looking pretty good. The revisions on this report showed a lower monthly supply than in the previous month.

The low monthly supply is why builders’ confidence is high, despite the massive spike in lumber prices. As a high school basketball coach in my previous life, I know that sometimes all that matters is that you shoot better than your opponents. Don’t overthink it. Better sales plus lower inventor equals increased builder confidence.

Today, the MBA’s purchase application data was also positive by 7% year over year, even with the President’s Day holiday and the Texas snowstorm — two factors that typically hurt applications. Positive year-over-year growth is a good thing. 

So far this year, our year-over-year comparisons have been against a “pre-covid” housing market. March 18 is almost here, which means year-over-year comparisons of housing data are going to get funky. If you see scorching year-over-year growth – don’t be fooled that it will be a sustainable trend. 

Purchase applications in 2021 have exceeded my estimated peak rate of growth of 11%. I expected to see a trend growth rate between 1%-11% year over year, up until March 18.  We are currently trending at 12.375%. The substantial purchase application growth speaks well for housing sales 30 to 90 days out.

The take-home message is that sales are strong, which will contribute to hotter home prices. Right now, we want the rate of growth to cool down.

Next week for HousingWire, I will explain why we should expect to see some purchase application data show weaker year-over-year data in the second half of 2021. There is more to this story than higher mortgage rates.

Source: housingwire.com

15 Cities With the Oldest Populations

Happy seniors exercising with hula hoops
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

One of the most impactful demographic trends across the United States in the coming decades will be the growth in the population aged 65 and older.

Much of the country is graying as more baby boomers, who were until 2019 the U.S.’s largest generational cohort, reach retirement age. The boomers — more than 73 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — began hitting retirement age more than a decade ago and will continue to age into the 65-and-up bracket until the end of the 2020s.

Thanks to advances in health care and medicine, these older Americans are projected to live longer on average than their predecessors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 those aged 65 and older will constitute more than 20 percent of the U.S. population, and they are projected to remain between one-fifth and one-quarter of the U.S. population through at least 2060.

The U.S. is already seeing signs of these effects. A wave of retirements will leave labor shortages in some industries, while many of the occupations with the greatest growth potential are in health and social services, driven by the elderly’s greater need for care.

Experts believe that GDP growth is likely to slow as a result of lost productivity and increasing costs of care. Government social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security have seen their expenditures balloon as more retirees shift from paying into the system to receiving benefits from it. Nationally, within states, and at the community level, the U.S. will continue to experience the socioeconomic implications of an increasingly older population.

To find the cities where these trends will be most apparent, researchers at Filterbuy used 2019 Census data to identify which metro areas have the largest share of residents over 65. The researchers also found the city-level old-age dependency ratios as well as the percentage of the senior population with a disability to understand where the burdens of care might be even higher.

Here are the large cities (those with 350,000 residents or more) with the largest percentage of the population 65 and older.

15. Wichita, KS

Wichita, Kansas
Gary L. Brewer / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 55,352

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 37.7%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

14. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 127,758

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 35.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.8%

13. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.4%

Total population 65 and older: 84,165

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 38.5%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.3%

12. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
Valiik30 / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.7%

Total population 65 and older: 58,686

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 33.4%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.8%

11. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.
Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 14.8%

Total population 65 and older: 95,394

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.4%

10. New York, NY

New York City coastline
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.0%

Total population 65 and older: 1,242,566

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.6%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

9. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado
photo.ua / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.1%

Total population 65 and older: 70,512

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.3%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.6%

8. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.3%

Total population 65 and older: 59,203

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 35.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 24.0%

7. Virginia Beach, VA

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.4%

Total population 65 and older: 65,405

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.2%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.3%

6. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.5%

Total population 65 and older: 82,197

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 38.8%

Old-age dependency ratio: 23.7%

5. Louisville, KY

Louisville, Kentucky
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.6%

Total population 65 and older: 95,530

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.8%

Old-age dependency ratio: 25.5%

4. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 15.9%

Total population 65 and older: 139,273

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.2%

Old-age dependency ratio: 22.7%

3. Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque, New Mexico
BrigitteT / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 16.2%

Total population 65 and older: 90,429

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 33.4%

Old-age dependency ratio: 26.5%

2. Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 16.5%

Total population 65 and older: 85,337

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 31.9%

Old-age dependency ratio: 28.5%

1. Miami, FL

Miami
Kamira / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population 65 and older: 17.5%

Total population 65 and older: 81,251

Percentage of population 65 and older with a disability: 34.6%

Old-age dependency ratio: 27.1%

Methodology & Detailed Findings

Working on computer data analysis on a laptop
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

Researchers used the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Cities were ranked according to the percentage of the population 65 and older. Researchers also calculated the total population 65 and older, the percentage of the population 65 and older with a disability, and the old-age dependency ratio for each city.

For relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included in the report, which grouped them into cohorts of small, midsize, and large metros.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com